One School at a Time program motivates students

Mary Beck Elementary in Elkhart is motivating its students to try harder in school and sports with the help of the One School at a Time program.

Each month Martin’s Supermarket presents the winning One School at a Time school with a $1,000 check, this month Mary Beck Elementary received the prize. An estimated 98-percent of the school’s students are on free or reduced lunches. The school has big plans for the grant money and for the future, encouraging students to try hard and behave well.

“You have to get good grades so that you can have opportunities in high school,” says Sayra Resendiz, a 6th grader at Mary Beck. Sayra and her friends are rewarded for their good behavior, earning pizza parties and cool trips.

“It’s like a little kid trying to get a lollipop he’s trying to be good, it’s like us, we are trying to do our best so that we can get rewards. Like that,” Sayra adds.

The students are also encouraged to keep active and keep moving with a running program called “Run Girls Run.”

“We run out around the school and we practice for a couple of weeks, and then we go to a race,” said Anna Crosby, another 6th grader at Mary Beck. She and girls like Brianna Brown participate in the stay-active program, “I just jogged at first. And then I just started speeding up and it became fun to me so I wanted to keep on doing it” said Brianna.

Michelle Atayde, a teacher at Mary Beck Elementary said Run Girl Run gets girls that would not otherwise be involved in sports to get moving, and shows them that they can do it.

The money from Martin’s One School At A Time grant will help reward good behavior, and in the case of Run Girl Run, help pay for more race entry fees.

“That means we might be able to do more races, and maybe get t-shirts,” said Anna.

Besides helping defray costs, the grant money is having a positive effect on the entire school by boosting Mary Beck Elementary’s ISTEP. ISTEP helps in getting students to want to be at school, to behave, and to do the right thing.

“That you can like exercise and it makes you feel good about yourself” is just one of the benefits of the program according to Brianna.

The One School at a Time winner is selected each month, and the winning school receives a $1,000 check from Martin’s Supermarket.

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